EVANS, SIR JOHN (1823–1908), English archaeologist and geologist, son of the Rev. Dr A. B. Evans, head master of Market Bosworth grammar school, was born at Britwell Court, Bucks, on the 17th of November 1823. He was for many years head of the extensive paper manufactory of Messrs John Dickinson at Nash Mills, Hemel Hempstead, but was especially distinguished as an antiquary and numismatist. He was the author of three books, standard in their respective departments: The Coins of the Ancient Britons (1864); The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain (1872, 2nd ed. 1897); and The Ancient Bronze Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain and Ireland (1881). He also wrote a number of separate papers on archaeological and geological subjects—notably the papers on “Flint Implements in the Drift” communicated in 1860 and 1862 to Archaeologia, the organ of the Society of Antiquaries. Of that society he was president from 1885 to 1892, and he was president of the Numismatic Society from 1874 to the time of his death. He also presided over the Geological Society, 1874–1876; the Anthropological Institute, 1877–1879; the Society of Chemical Industry, 1892–1893; the British Association, 1897–1898; and for twenty years (1878–1898) he was treasurer of the Royal Society. As president of the Society of Antiquaries he was an ex officio trustee of the British Museum, and subsequently he became a permanent trustee. His academic honours included honorary degrees from several universities, and he was a corresponding member of the Institut de France. He was created a K.C.B. in 1892. He died at Berkhamsted on the 31st of May 1908.
His eldest son, Arthur John Evans, born in 1851, was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and Göttingen. He became fellow of Brasenose and in 1884 keeper of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. He travelled in Finland and Lapland in 1873–1874, and in 1875 made a special study of archaeology and ethnology in the Balkan States. In 1893 he began his investigations in Crete, which have resulted in discoveries of the utmost importance concerning the early history of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean (see Aegean Civilization and Crete). He is a member of all the chief archaeological societies in Europe, holds honorary degrees at Oxford, Edinburgh and Dublin, and is a fellow of the Royal Society. His chief publications are: Cretan Pictographs and Prae-Phoenician Script (1896); Further Discoveries of Cretan and Aegean Script (1898); The Mycenaean Tree and Pillar Cult (1901); Scripta Minoa (1909 foll.); and reports on the excavations. He also edited with additions Freeman’s History of Sicily, vol. iv.